Imani Evans, one half of MADD; Mother and Daughter Duo. She is normally seen on many a red carpet with her mum Sue Evans. She is a model, fashion blogger and brand influencer. She is a young woman with passion, purpose and bags of confidence! We at Those London are so pleased Imani has taken the time out to discuss all things beauty with us.
Your hair; glorious. I know as a black woman that it can be hard to maintain healthy, shiny hair that doesn’t break in this climate with the UK’s hard water! What is your secret?
The secret to healthy hair in this horrid UK climate is moisture, moisture and more moisture! In the winter months I give my hair the extra care it needs and moisturize like my life depends on it. So, my entire life may not depend on it but the health of my hair does!
You have such a positive body image. Was that always the case or an evolution?
My whole teenage life and early twenties were spent hating the scars on my legs, the stretchmarks on my thighs and my boobs for being so big. Hate isn’t even a strong enough word to describe the disdain I felt towards my body and I was uncomfortable to look in the mirror.
My stretchmarks bothered me the most and I spent hundreds on Bio Oil because I heard that it would help them to fade. I drenched myself in the stuff twice a day until was seeping through my clothes. I did this for months and realized how low my self-esteem was when I was waiting in car park for a chemist to open in the morning because they were having a Bio Oil sale and I wanted to be the first customer. I turnt into a Bio Oil junkie and this was all because I was ashamed of my stretchmarks? It was a huge wake up call and one day I decided to stop torturing myself. At first I faked being comfortable in my own skin, you know what they say… “Fake it till you make it!” but now I don’t need to fake anything. I proudly show my body because its completely normal to have scars, cellulite, stretch marks ect and it’s important for me to show that. The reason women are so hard on themselves is because we don’t see enough real bodies and I would like to see that change in my lifetime.
Describe your skincare routine?
Exfoliating is a huge part of my skincare routine. I exfoliate my face and body 2-3 times a week and use a natural oil after my exfoliating session to soothe my skin and leave it silky smooth. I also go to the sauna once a fortnight and that’s amazing for your skin as it removes the impurities and leaves you with the most epic glow… I love me a glow honey!
What are your top 3 “can’t live without” products and why?
I love the Liz Earl Hot Cloth Cleanser because its gentle enough to use daily and the hot clothe feels amazing in the morning!
I’m obsessed with my honey and face scrub from Derma Organics. It’s all natural so it only contains ingredients you can trust and it smells absolutely incredible!
Last but not least I absolutely love my Organics carrot oil and I use it on my body. It gives you a slight orange tint to your skin so it’s amazing for photo’s!
Your work is pushing you firmly into the spotlight. Do you think there is a pressure for women to look a certain way. If yes, how do you deal with that pressure?
Yes, but women have always been pressured. In family life, work life, pressure to look amazing, pressure to not age, pressure to be emotionally strong… the list goes on. People expect more from women than they do from anyone else. In the eyes of the world we as women are just supposed be able to do it all and do it all, exceptionally well! The best way to deal with the pressure is to NOT deal with it at all! Understand that the only person that needs to be happy with your choices is yourself. You should be the only person that you need to answer too. Once you fully recognize this you will put your middle finger up to the unrealistic standards that women are pressured to try and reach.
What does the word ‘beauty’ mean for you?
Beauty comes in many forms but my favourite type of beauty is inner beauty that comes from the soul. Being a beautiful person on the inside is a priority to me and that’s what stands out to me when I meet people and when I’m getting to know them. It’s beautiful to be a positive and happy person despite your negative past experiences, it’s beautiful to not hold grudges, it’s beautiful to encourage your loved ones to be the best they can be and the most beautiful thing of all is to appreciate all the good things in your life and show gratitude for what you have.
As an influencer (a relatively new term). How important is it for you to stay in integrity when promoting a brand or product. Have you ever taken on a ‘gig’ you haven’t believed in?
Being an influencer is like having your own online magazine and that certainly has its perks but it’s important for me to maintain authenticity and I have turned down many opportunities to keep my integrity intact. There are some things that I refuse to put my name too and I won’t budge on that. I see the people that follow me as my online family and I appreciate the love they show me on a daily basis so if I wouldn’t recommend it to my Mum then I’m not recommending it to my online family either!
MADD (Mother and Daughter Duo). How did that come about and what is your brand message?
My mum and I are very close and we act more like sisters and look like sisters to! Everyone would always say to us “You two are absolutely MAD! Your relationship is MAD!” & one day I had an idea… I realized that not only were we mad (slightly bonkers) but we are also MADD, a Mother And Daughter Duo! So everyone knows us as MADD now and we go anywhere together that’s what people call us.
Our message to other mothers and daughters is to cherish your bond because in this crazy world you should always be able to rely on each other. My mum is the greatest thing to ever happen to me and all of the positive attributes I have are because I was raised by the most incredible woman on the planet.
Have you had any hair or makeup disasters that you care to share…oh go on, pray tell?
My only hair disaster was the first and only time I ever got a weave. The itching started as soon as the hairdresser stopped sewing. I’ve never scratched my scalp so aggressively and this went on for an entire week. I came close to dragging the entire thing of my head! Now whenever somebody says “Have you ever tried a weave” I get an immediate sense of fear from the memories and all comes flooding back to me!
What’s in your makeup bag?
When it comes to make up I’m not fancy at all, my done up face is pretty basic compared to all those make up bloggers I see on my timeline. I do always have a tub of Vaseline with me though and an abundance of lipsticks, I love a good lipstick! My fave at the moment are nude and golden tones but when I’m feeling sassy I go for a bold red.
How did your modelling career begin?
I’ve always done a bit of modeling here and there from a young age, in high school and college if my friends needed a model I’d always be happy to step in. I love creativity and I’ve been blessed enough to be a part of some fun projects… there’s definitely more coming up! Being a social influencer is so varied because you are the model and the photographer all at once. I remember I used to shoot for hours but now I can get ‘THE SHOT’ in just a few minutes… well, most of the time!
You attend many a red carpet events. What would you say is your ‘go to” look?
I love bright colours so I very rarely wear black and if I am wearing black you can be sure that the outfit has something striking about it whether it be the style or the fabric. My go to look is bold with a dash of sexy.
Lastly, you seem to have confidence for days. What advice would you give to anyone reading this who might lack confidence?
I would say to anyone that is lacking confidence to make a decision that will change your life. Choose to not beat yourself up anymore or just do what I did, fake it until you make it. Go out there and pretend to have all the confidence in the world until you’ve been pretending for so long that it just comes naturally! Sounds crazy but it works. Go and apply for that job with your head held high because you know you’ve already got it. Or start that business that everyone thinks you shouldn’t and take pride in proving them all wrong! Confidence mixed with hard work and determination will take you so far but don’t waste time doubting yourself, just give life your best shot!
Thank you so much Imani
Interviewed by Karen Bryson
Follow Imani on Instagram|Twitter|